State Farm office movesPublished 9:29pm Monday, February 27, 2012
EDWARDSBURG — Lorie Bowers opened her State Farm insurance office’s new location Monday at 68935 Gateway Drive in the former Curtis Chiropractic Clinic.
The company’s familiar slogan, of course, is “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
This office is neighborly by serving fresh-baked cookies daily with coffee “to make sure our clients know they’re appreciated. State Farm’s culture is very family-friendly,” said Bowers, vice president of the Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce.
“They believe in doing the right thing. State Farm is known for auto, health and life insurance, but we also do mutual funds and have State Farm Bank.”
Her previous red brick location in Edwardsburg Village Commons is visible to the south on M-62 through the window.
“Dr. (Gregory) Curtis, who was a really good guy, passed away,” Bowers said. “We hated to see the building sit empty and it met our needs, so we found some financing and acquired it.”
That was late December. Bowers took over the State Farm office in June 2006.
Curtis, a 58-year-old Niles graduate who had the chiropractic clinic since 1982, died June 12, 2011.
Bowers came to insurance from banking. “I did work for an agent in (Mishawaka, Ind.), Deb Childs,” she said. “This used to be three separate rental units. Dr. Curtis combined two and left one space open. We built some walls and tore some walls down to return it to three units.”
One is spoken for, “but I can’t say what that business is yet.”
Her collection of State Farm promotional “car stuff,” from semis to fuel pumps, along with a red soft-drink machine, gives the office a red-and-white feel, despite plum walls.
“I’ve got two pedal cars as well” celebrating 75th and 80th company anniversaries.
The three women are all wearing red, too, but “we have different-colored shirts for different days,” Bowers said. “Somebody thought we were going to do red-and-white walls.”
Bowers grew up in Elkhart, Ind., and married her husband, Troy, in 1995, which connects her to two prominent families, the Westfalls and the Bowers.
Lorie’s in-laws used to operate the Root Beer Barrel drive-in, now Maple Cafe.
Troy owns the Bubbles laundromat. The Bowers have a daughter, Abigail, or Abby, 8, who attends school at Eagle Lake.
“We’ll probably have a grand opening in about three months,” after a kitchenette is completed, she said.